Documentary Photography and Visual Activism (Swansea College of Art) at University of Wales Trinity Saint David - UCAS

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant)

Documentary Photography and Visual Activism (Swansea College of Art)

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Course summary

This course (the only one of its kind in the UK) embraces documentary photography in its broadest sense, focussing on experimentation with multimedia, installation, exhibitions, workshops and participatory projects to develop your own unique style of visual storytelling. Visual activism is photojournalism for the 21st century. Our students embrace contemporary strategies to develop a socially engaged lens-based practice, often challenging fake news, inherent bias in our media platforms and power structures. Students are encouraged to pursue their own areas of interest, previous successful projects have included explorations of identity, family relationships, documenting local football teams and the climate crisis. As well as working with local community groups supporting refugees, asylum seekers and BAME youth groups, our students have also worked with Women’s Aid, Race Council Cymru and LGBTQ+ charities to develop collaborative projects addressing contemporary social issues. We have a regular programme of visiting lecturers and specialist workshops that provide our students with invaluable networking opportunities with professional organisations, such as Canon, Getty, Sunday Times and galleries, museums and archives that equip our graduates with essential skills to progress in their careers. As well as working as freelance photographers, our graduates go on to a wide range of successful careers, including jobs in documentary, editorial and commercial photography, picture editing and research, curating, publishing, journalism, community work and teaching. COURSE OVERVIEW YEAR ONE In your first year the focus is on developing your practical and technical skills to provide a foundation to investigate subjects of personal interest. Areas covered include: • Traditional darkroom techniques • How to use Adobe software packages • Professional studio and location lighting techniques • How to respond to set briefs • How to combine both analogue and digital skills to create innovative outcomes • The history of photography and visual culture theory YEAR TWO Building on the skills developed in your first year, the second year is a time for further experimentation and collaborative working: • Working in small groups to design and curate your own public exhibition • Conceptualise and produce a photobook • Have opportunities to undertake funded internships • Become increasingly focused on developing a professional platform for your work (incl:website/social media/exhibition strategies) • Experiment with alternative darkroom processes • Have the option to study a semester abroad • Apply your research and critical analysis skills to a major project proposal YEAR THREE Your third year is about developing your professional portfolio and equipping yourself for a professional career in the creative industries after graduation: • Develop a self-directed major project / body of work • Produce work for collective exhibition in Swansea and London • Have opportunities to present your work to industry professionals • Have developed technical and creative skills to industry level


Year One – Level 4 (Cert HE, Dip HE & BA) • Contemporary Challenges: Making a Difference (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module) • Contemporary Documentary Practice (20 credits; compulsory) • Learning in the Digital Era (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module) • Re-thinking Photojournalism (20 credits; compulsory) • Visual Studies 1 (10 credits; compulsory) • Visual Studies 2 (10 credits; compulsory) • Ways of Perceiving (10 credits; compulsory) • Ways of Thinking (10 credits; compulsory). Year Two – Level 5 (Dip HE & BA) • Changemakers: Building your Personal Brand for Sustainable Employment (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module) • Changemakers: Creativity and Value Creation (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module) • Publication and Protest (20 credits; compulsory) • Research in Context (10 credits; compulsory) • Research in Practice (10 credits; compulsory) • Visual Activism: Location & Curation (20 credits; compulsory) • Visual Enquiry 1 (10 credits; compulsory) • Visual Enquiry 2 (10 credits; compulsory). Year Three – Level 6 • Advanced Creative Enquiry (20 credits; compulsory) • Independent Project (40 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module) • Major Project (60 credits; compulsory).

Assessment method

Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. Students are formatively assessed throughout a module, summative assessment takes place at the end of a module. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course which include: Lectures, seminars, group/individual tutorials, workshops and presentations. There are regular opportunities for one-to-one tutorials with staff for students to get feedback on their work.

How to apply

Application codes

Please select a course option – you will then see the application code you need to use to apply for the course.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9000 Year 1
England £9000 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9000 Year 1
Scotland £9000 Year 1
Wales £9000 Year 1
Channel Islands £9000 Year 1
International £13500 Year 1

Tuition fee status depends on a number of criteria and varies according to where in the UK you will study. For further guidance on the criteria for home or overseas tuition fees, please refer to the UKCISA website .

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Documentary Photography and Visual Activism (Swansea College of Art) at University of Wales Trinity Saint David - UCAS